A former FBI counterterrorism agent has hinted at a vast and intrusive surveillance network used by the U.S. government to monitor its own citizens. Tim Clemente admitted as much when he appeared on CNN Wednesday night. Discussing the Boston Marathon attack and past telephone conversations of Katherine Russell and her now deceased husband, suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Clemente said that those conversations would be available to investigators.
Clemente discussed the issue in this exchange with host Erin Burnett, as recorded by the CNN transcript.
BURNETT: 'Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?'
CLEMENTE: 'No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.'
BURNETT: 'So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.'
CLEMENTE: 'No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.'
Originally posted by Hopechest
Well they apparently can't use it in court so that's at least something good.
Originally posted by caladonea
reply to post by Korg Trinity
I think that since 9/11 this (listening in) has been taking place; and most likely even before 9/11 happened.
Maybe the former FBI agent admitted this; and it was no big deal to TPTB that he did; because most people are aware of this information already.
Originally posted by Korg Trinity
I bet your bottom dollar we hear some report in the not to distant future that this guy has committed suicide....
Originally posted by spirit_horse
And remember, every voice, data, fax, communication is recorded and stored at the NSA, and their new facility in Utah has enough storage to keep every communication for every man, woman, and child in the US during their life.
Originally posted by MyHappyDogShiner
There are more dangerous things to monitor than our silly meanderings on the cellphone anyway.
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks.
Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.
Given the facility’s scale and the fact that a terabyte of data can now be stored on a flash drive the size of a man’s pinky, the potential amount of information that could be housed in Bluffdale is truly staggering. But so is the exponential growth in the amount of intelligence data being produced every day by the eavesdropping sensors of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. As a result of this “expanding array of theater airborne and other sensor networks,” as a 2007 Department of Defense report puts it, the Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (1024 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.)
It needs that capacity because, according to a recent report by Cisco, global Internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. (A million exabytes equal a yottabyte.) In terms of scale, Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, once estimated that the total of all human knowledge created from the dawn of man to 2003 totaled 5 exabytes. And the data flow shows no sign of slowing. In 2011 more than 2 billion of the world’s 6.9 billion people were connected to the Internet. By 2015, market research firm IDC estimates, there will be 2.7 billion users. Thus, the NSA’s need for a 1-million-square-foot data storehouse. Should the agency ever fill the Utah center with a yottabyte of information, it would be equal to about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.